Work Permit Canada

Most occupations require a work permit for a foreign national (FN) to be able to work in Canada if the worker is not already working for that employer in Canada.
Here we focus on people interested in coming to work in Canada and are currently outside Canada or they are in Canada as a visitor.
The prerequisite to obtain a work permit is to determine whether the FN is LMIA-exempt or not.

LMIA required work permit

Prior to issuing a work permit, an application for a work permit must be made. In most situations, the employer will have to go through a process called Labour Market Impact Assessment. Essentially, this is a process whereby the employer proves to the Canadian Government that they cannot find a Canadian to do the job.

Once the LMIA is approved, then the FN must apply for a work permit. There are several requirements including the need for the FN to prove they have the required skills and experience to perform the work outlined in the LMIA.

LMIA-Exempt work situations

  • In the case of international companies transferring staff to Canada, they may be exempt from obtaining a LMIA if they are covered under an international agreement as an example such as the North American Free Trade agreement
  • In the case of about 30 countries, there is a program whereby people between 18 -30 (or 35 in some cases) can apply for a work permit. That program is called International Experience Canada. The list of participating countries include most European countries, japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. It does not include the United States, China or India however.
  • A spouse of a work permit holder may also be issued a LMIA-Exempt open work permit if the FN works in a professional job.
  • A spouse of a full time student may also be issue a LMIA-Expempt open work permit.

To obtain a work permit, even after a positive LMIA is issued, is not necessarily easy and a FN may well benefit from the advice of professionals to assist in ensuring the application is done properly.